Vote

All six New England states have a gubernatorial election this year, taking place on November 6. Up for election are all 435 US House districts, 35 Senate seats, 36 Governorships and plenty of down ballot races.

Control of both houses of Congress, the legislative body of which the laws of the United States are made, is up in the air. If Republicans manage to keep control, they will continue to push their conservative agenda along with those policies of Donald Trump. If Democrats can cease control, they will attempt to enact progressive legislation while also facing the obstacle of a Trump veto.

Outside lawmaking agendas, Congress also plays a role in confirming Presidential nominees, a contentious issue in the wake of the Kavanaugh hearings, and the role of oversight, which could mean more investigation into the Trump administration if Democrats take control.

State elections shouldn’t be overlooked. States act as their own microcosm in terms of lawmaking, and those laws affect citizens just as much and in a similar manner to the way federal laws would. There are ballot questions to vote on at the state level. For example, Massachusetts has three questions this year. The first relates to staffing at hospitals and if a nurse:patient ratio should be enforced by the state. The second questions asks if Massachusetts should establish a committee exploring a US constitutional amendment limiting money in politics, essentially a overruling of the Citizens United case that allowed seemingly limitless donations by individuals and businesses to candidates. The last question is if the current law protecting individuals from discrimination based on gender identity should be repealed or not. These issues are wide-ranging and affect multitudes of people, maybe even you. It’s not all just about a bunch of old people gathered in some old building, it’s about what life we want to live in our town, state and nation.

So why vote? Simple: you are determining the political course of this country. If you feel like your vote doesn’t matter, it does, because if you don’t vote, someone else will, and they don’t represent your interests, or what you care about. Millennials make up the largest voting bloc in the country, yet they vote at the lowest rates. This means that the interests of young people are not being represented. Take 15 minutes of your time, research the issues and candidates, and VOTE!